September 23, 2021 10:02:01 pm
The hearing of the Public Interest Litigation challenging IPS officer Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police Commissioner was adjourned to September 27 by the Delhi High Court Thursday after the petitioner’s counsel could not explain the meaning of ‘super time scale’. The terms refers to seniority of an officer.
“We will dismiss your matter with a cost. We are not accustomed to asking one dozen times. You have copied without understanding. What do you mean by ‘super time scale’?” the division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh told the petitioner’s counsel.
After the counsel sought time, the court, in the order, noted that the lawyer has argued the case today and started with arguments about inter-cadre transfers during which he has simply read over paragraphs without explaining anything. It added that the lawyer has been unable to explain the meaning of ‘super time scale’ in service jurisprudence and has sought time to understand the term to explain it to court.
“All this you have copied. Whenever you want to file, you should file independently, your own thinking, your own language. This is all borrowed language. Copy karo na tou paanch per cent copy honi chahiye baaki tou apna hona chahiye. You cannot copy 97 or 99 per cent with all full stop and comma,” the court told the petitioner Sadre Alam, adding that he should not do such things in future.
The Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) has earlier alleged that Alam copied contents of his petition from its plea which is pending before the apex court. Alam’s PIL seeks quashing of Asthana’s appointment, inter-cadre deputation, and extension of service.
The Centre in a reply to the petition has defended Asthana’s appointment, saying he has been brought in to provide “effective policing” on recent law and order situations in the national capital. The government also said it needs to be given a leeway in appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner as any “paediatric approach” would not be in national interest.
The Centre has said since AGMUT cadre comprises Union Territory and small Northeastern states, the requisite experience – “of working and supervising the central investigating agency, para-military force and police force of a large state having diverse political and law and order problem” – was found lacking in the present pool of available officers. Senior officers in the Delhi Police are usually picked from the AGMUT cadre.
“Hence in public interest, a decision was made by the central government to have an officer who had experience in all the above fields to supervise Delhi Police force and to provide effective policing on recent law and order situations which arose in the National Capital Territory of Delhi,” the Centre said.
It has further said Delhi has been witnessing diverse and extremely challenging situations “of public order/law and order situation/policing issues” which not only have “national security implications” but also “international/cross border implications”.
A 1984 Gujarat-cadre officer and former DG BSF, Asthana, on July 27 was deputed to AGMUT cadre and granted an extension of service for a period of one year beyond his date of retirement, which was July 31. He was also appointed Delhi CP on July 27 up to July 31, 2022.
Asthana in a separate reply to Alam’s petition has said that as a part of a “selective campaign” against him, proceedings are being consistently filed against him by these Common Cause and Centre for Public Interest Litigations.
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